Here at Garden City Community College, we use a slogan that you may have heard from time to time "From here, you can go anywhere."

That doesn't necessarily mean that our students will all go somewhere else geographically, but it does mean that an education from GCCC helps southwest Kansans attain the goals they've set for themselves in terms of learning, and in life.

We recently put together a PowerPoint presentation that illustrates how we do that, as well as how we carry out our mission of producing people who contribute positively to society and the economy.

Members of the six-person GCCC Board of Trustees, and our staff, are willing to take this show on the road and share it with any local organizations, clubs, businesses or groups that would like to see it. If you want to schedule a visit, you're invited to get in touch and set up a time. Just contact Debbie Atkinson, administrative assistant to the president; 276-9533; debbie.atkinson@gcccks.edu.

Key objectives

The presentation is based not only on GCCC's mission, but on five specific "ends," or objectives, set by our elected board, including:

Essential skills

Academic advancement

Work preparedness

Personal enrichment

Workforce development.

If you take advantage of the opportunity to learn about GCCC, you may discover some surprising information. That includes the fact that we were once only a junior college, while today, in the year of our 90th anniversary, we're a comprehensive community college that offers accredited transfer programs, and also provides community education and enrichment programs, career and technical learning and training, and a series of important services for business and industry.

More discoveries

You'll also discover that:

In a typical year, GCCC awards more than 300 degrees and certificates to college graduates, in addition to about 100 GED high school equivalency diplomas.

GCCC is fully accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, through a system of continuous quality improvement.

Our college has an assigned credit service area that covers Finney, Greeley, Hamilton, Kearny, Lane, Scott and Wichita counties, but actually draws students from counties all across Kansas, as well as other states and nations.

Speaking of GCCC students, you also might be interested to learn that our college began classes in 1919 with 23 men and women, and in a typical semester today, we serve about 2,300 students.

The figures vary a little from semester to semester, of course, but about 46 percent of the students are men and approximately 54 percent are women. In terms of ethnicity, more than 30 percent of GCCC students come from minority backgrounds.

The range of ages in our student body begins at about 17, including those taking college credit while still in high school. Presently, the oldest student is 89, but the average age on campus is 31.

If you get a chance to focus on GCCC at an upcoming presentation, or visit our campus in person, you also can learn about:

* The GCCC Outreach Program, which provides hometown college classes in nine surrounding communities.The GCCC Adult Learning Center, which helps immigrants and

other adults learn English as a Second Language, complete their GEDs

and become American citizens;

GCCC's heritage as one of the two original community colleges

in Kansas, and the one that has served the public longer than any

other;

GCCC revenues and expenditures, as well as the college's positive impact on Finney County's economy;

The extensive regional and national recognition and competitive honors that GCCC students and our programs earn;

The many partnerships GCCC has entered with business, industry,

other educational institutions and community organizations, all to

enhance the education and service we provide;

The GCCC Endowment Association, which assists more than 700 students each year with over $380,000 in scholarship awards.Changing lives

There's a lot more to learn, too, and we would be proud to come and share the story of GCCC. I also would like to thank everyone who came out earlier this month for our 90th birthday party on campus.

As we celebrate the 90th year since our founding, this is a great time to focus on the ways that Garden City Community College changes lives through learning.

GCCC president Carol Ballantyne may be e-mailed at carol.ballantyne@gcccks.edu.